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Our Work

Mississippi Child Care Wages Research


Much has been reported about the national child care crisis whereby the supply of child care teachers is not sufficient to meet the demands of working parents. Additionally, there is anecdotal evidence of closed child care classrooms in Mississippi. Therefore, the Systems Change Lab conducted a study of Mississippi child care teacher wages and benefits, working conditions, and current needs. The project was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and conducted in partnership with the Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning with assistance from the Forum for the Future Child Care Wages Working Group, which receives backbone support from the Mississippi Early Learning Alliance.  Please download the States’ Strategies for Increasing Child Care Wages brief to learn what other states are doing to address the child care crisis.

You can learn what Mississippi early child care teachers reported on our survey by downloading any of the following reports.

Mississippi Child Care Teacher’s Wages Survey Key Findings Brief 

 Wages Survey Full Report 

The Mississippi Child Care Teachers’ Wages Survey PowerPoint

Mississippi Consumer Education Interactive Resource Maps Project


The Systems Change Lab provides up-to-date, online, interactive early childhood resource maps as a part of the Mississippi Department of Human Services’ Division of Early Childhood Care and Development’s Consumer Education platform. To access the maps, please visit

Mississippi Child Care Quality Support System Project


The W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded the Systems Change Lab to gather insights on a new Child Care Quality Support System for Mississippi. To accomplish this task, a team of individuals representing the Mississippi Early Learning Alliance, Excel by 5, Mississippi First, child care providers, and a parent was formed, with technical assistance from the Build Initiative and Child Care State Capacity Building Center. This team convened early childhood educators from across Mississippi to create a set of recommendations for a new Child Care Quality Improvement System for Mississippi.

Ongoing work with the Mississippi Department of Human Services will be funded through the Preschool Development Grant Birth-Five. To learn more about this project and the recommendations, please visit the website for the Forum for the Future, a consortium of organizations working to improve early childhood services: Forum for the Future and/or read the final project report here: Full Report

Mississippi Child Care Market Rate Survey and Ongoing Analyses


The Systems Change Lab assists the Mississippi Department of Human Services’ Division of Early Childhood Care and Development in collecting and analyzing child care market rate data to determine child care subsidy rates provided through the Child Care Payment Program. To learn more about child care market rates in Mississippi, please see our report at

The Child Health and Development Project: Mississippi Thrive!


The Mississippi Thrive! project was a partnership of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Social Science Research Center. Mississippi Thrive! was a 5-year, $17.5M project funded by the Health Resources & Services Administration that was designed to improve the Mississippi early childhood developmental health system. For more information about the work of the project, please visit

The Systems Change Lab is a division of both the Office of Research and Economic Development and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine at MSU and receives support from the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station.